It's a mixed bag of local soccer talent, but the lads representing Panhellenic Zeus are hoping that it's enough to move on to Round 4 of Ontario Cup action. A 3-0 win over Soo Italia in Sudbury a few weeks back propelled the Panhellenic squad through the third round of the summer-long tournament that opened with 58 teams from across the province participating.
Panhellenic will battle Scarborough Ulster Thistle this Saturday in Scarborough. Bringing together groupings of players from three or four different teams has been a challenge, according to Panhellenic Soccer Club head coach Giuseppe Politi, who is lending a helping hand to team coach Mike Hussak. "There are a lot of new guys coming in, and this team could use more time to gel", said Politi.
Coming off a very solid year that would see the team lose only once in 2009 (a shootout loss to Croatia Adria in Ontario Cup play), Panhellenic Zeus has endured a few changes, most notably the loss of OUA all-star Dave Hysen on defense (moved to London). As well, Politi found himself much more involved one year ago, a luxury that the lack of time has not afforded in this second go around.
"Iím a little bit more removed this year", notes Politi. "I just try and help Mike as much as I can, especially tactically, and we do have pretty much a cut and dry plan for this weekend as to how we want to approach this opponent." Scarborough is coming off a 4-2 win over the Vaughan Shooters and is an organization that is generally well respected province wide, according to Politi.
"We anticipate this Scarborough team to be a lot stronger (than Soo Italia)" admits Politi, recently returned from a nine-day sojourn to Georgia where he would be working on his U.S. Class "A" coaching license. The Panhellenic coaching tandem are hopeful that playing into the strength of their roster might just be enough to advance to the Ontario Cup quarter-finals, a game they would host, in Sudbury, on August 8th.
"The strength of this team lies with the counter attack Ė thatís our focus for this weekend coming up", says Politi. "Hopefully, we can get some bounces, because it would be great to host a quarter final should we win on Saturday." The 2010 roster for Panhellenic Zeus includes: Jon Hussak, Andrew Posteraro, Nick O'Bumsawin, Neil Petrin, Stephane Legrand, Trevor Beange, Guillermo Estrada, Daniel Keir, Joel Cropp, Derek Lang, Thomas Guscott, Adam Bignucolo, Brian Kavaratzis, Steve Rachkowski, Brian Hennessy, Stephane Jacques, Travis Perrin and Corey Boyce.